Learn About Minimally Invasive Treatment Options for Back Pain at Silver Cross
Oh, our aching backs! Over a lifetime – 80 percent of us will experience an episode of back pain or discomfort. It’s the second most common reason we visit the doctor or miss work, next to the common cold. The good news - most of us will recover over the course of a few weeks with basic home treatments.
Back pain symptoms range from muscle aches, shooting or stabbing pain, or pain that radiates down your leg, explains Chintan Sampat, M.D., orthopedic/spine surgeon on staff at Silver Cross Hospital. The pain can worsen with bending, standing, walking or lifting. People of all ages can experience back pain, including children or teenagers, but it is more common for those over the age of 30. Excess weight, back strain from improper lifting, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, arthritis or cancer are risk factors to developing back pain.
When Should I See a Doctor?
If your back pain doesn’t improve over a few weeks of home treatment it may be time to seek medical attention, especially if the back pain accompanies new bowel or bladder problems, fever or occurs after a fall or other injury. If the pain is severe and doesn’t improve with rest, spreads down one or both legs, causes weakness/numbness/tingling in one or both legs, or is accompanied by unexplained weight loss, it’s time to see a doctor.
“The first step in getting to the cause of your back pain is getting an accurate diagnosis. Your doctor will take a detailed history and perform a physical examination. Further testing may be ordered such as X-rays, MRI testing, or nerve testing,” Dr. Sampat said.
Conservative treatments that include medications, physical therapy, pain management, and lifestyle modification are recommended first to help relieve back pain.
“If conservative treatments have been exhausted and fail to show improvement, it could be time to discuss possible surgical options with the patient depending on diagnosis and test results,” stated Sampat.
The good news is that there are minimally invasive spinal surgery options available in which patients experience less pain, scarring, and blood loss, fewer complications, and less dependence on post-operative narcotics.
“Traditional spine surgery is performed by cutting long, deep incisions through muscle, which can leave the patient with long scars and an even longer healing time,” he said. “Minimally invasive spine surgery uses the least invasive techniques and minimal cutting possible to give the surgeon access to the spine.”
By utilizing these techniques, the surgeon cuts down on the patient's recovery time and scarring. Best of all, patients can return to the activities they enjoy!
Free Lecture about Minimally Invasive Treatments for Back Pain
Learn more about minimally invasive treatment options for problems of the spine at Dr. Sampat’s upcoming free lecture, Minimally Invasive Treatments for Spinal Conditions, Tuesday, April 23, 8 a.m., at the Silver Cross Conference Center, Pavilion A, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. Register at www.silvercross.org or at 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).